Research Projects

This web page provides an overview of research activity which is taking place within the fields of health and social care. In line with good research governance any studies being undertaken within the Bailiwick will be detailed here along with the contact details of the lead researcher or the contact for the Guernsey site.

The Cleft Collective cohort Studies

Our aim is to create an adequately powered, detailed observational resource for the study of the environmental and genetic determinants of cleft lip and/or palate, and the outcomes for patients and families affected by cleft lip and/or palate. By collecting samples and data from cohorts throughout the UK, a large DNA-backed prospective resource of family trios and quartets for the study of the genetic and environmental determinants of cleft lip and/or palate will be provided. Data relating to the social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive development of the child, and the social, economic, psychological and health status of the mother and her partner will facilitate studies of the development and long-term outcomes for children with cleft lip and/or palate and their families in the future.

This research is sponsored by The University of Bristol.

Local contact is Alex Hawkins-Drew

Guernsey and Alderney health Lifestyle Survey 2018

The principal aim of the survey is to assess the current health status of islanders and to understand the health knowledge and behaviours of different subsets of our populations across a broad range of health topics, identifying any changes from previous survey rounds. A secondary aim is to acquire quantitative data on the health needs of older age adults living in the Bailiwick. This will supplement qualitative research that is currently being undertaken by Public Health Services as part of a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) for Older People’s Health.

This research is being undertaken by Public Health Services, HSC, with assistance from a locally based research company, Island Global Research

Local contact is Jenny Cataroche, Head of Health Intelligence,

An examination of the reliability of the Elgueta-Cancino clinical test of lumbo-pelvic control

A study exploring whether a test used for determining the quality of lumbopelvic movement is reliable.

Research team: Dr Martin Rabey (THRIVE Physiotherapy), Dr Niamh Moloney (THRIVE Physiotherapy & Macquarie University, Sydney), Matthew Bagg (Neuroscience Research Australia), Ian Skinner (Neuroscience Research Australia), Martin Lock (Guernsey Therapy Group), Dr James McAuley (Neuroscience Research Australia)

Local contact is Dr Martin Rabey

Effect of exercise on pain modulation in people with chronic pain

Exercise is often prescribed as a treatment for chronic pain. This study investigates whether low intensity exercise is enough to influence endogeneous pain modulation in people with persistent pain conditions.

Research team: Dr Niamh Moloney (THRIVE Physiotherapy & Macquarie University, Sydney), Dr Martin Rabey ((THRIVE Physiotherapy), Dr Duncan Sanders (University of Sydney), Prof. Michael Nicholas (University of Sydney), Assoc. Prof. Julia Hush (Macquarie University)

Local contact is Dr Niamh Moloney

Development and Preliminary Validation of the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire for Clinicians

Development of a questionnaire that measures clinicians’ beliefs regarding the importance of acceptance when managing people with chronic pain.

Research team: Dr Martin Rabey ((THRIVE Physiotherapy), Dr Mark Catley (University of South Australia), Assoc. Prof. Kevin Vowles (University of New Mexico), Dr James McAuley (Neuroscience Research Australia)

Local contact Dr Martin Rabey

Early lunch box survey: Part 2 - additional survey sites

The Bailiwick’s population is impacted by a range of nutrition-related conditions. Evidence shows action to help address this issue needs to start from an early age, with early years settings being one of a number of key areas of focus. 95% of 3-4 year old children now attend at least 15 hours in early years settings and many of these have lunch whilst in a settings’ care. Lunch is a key opportunity in a child’s day to access and enjoy nutritious food and drink.

Nutrition standards are due to be introduced aimed at helping ensure food served in settings meets a child’s requirements. However, where lunch provision is available, only 9 settings provide a cooked lunch with the remaining settings requiring a packed lunch instead. Research suggests packed lunches often do not meet a child’s nutrition requirements, meaning the potential health and wider benefits are not available for many children .

This project - which will be conducted in two parts: an initial pilot in one setting and then a roll-out to additional settings - aims to provide insights into lunch box provision for 3-4 year olds in local early years settings, to establish a baseline from which to work and, if applicable, highlight specific areas of support that may boost the nutritional benefits of lunch boxes for this age group. It forms part of a broader piece of social marketing work that aims to maximise the nutritional potential of early years lunchbox provision.

The project links to Actions and Key Performance Indicators within the Healthy Weight Strategy and potentially impacts on further strategies addressing mental and physical wellbeing.

This is a joint research project between the HSC dietetics department, Health Promotion and Child Health services

Local contact Lucy Whitman, Health Improvement practitioner.

Explaining pain at a societal level: thinking beyond pathology

Persistent pain affects between a third and a half of people in the UK. Research shows that most people think that pain always results from damage to bodily tissues e.g. joints and muscles. However, pain is more complex. While damage to body tissues explains some pain, other factors such as our overall health, our mood, how we sleep, and how much we exercise also play a big part in whether we get pain and if we do, how much pain we experience. People who understand this bigger picture of pain experience less anxiety related to pain, feel more in control of symptoms, and are better able to self-manage. Physiotherapists and other clinicians specialising in pain management often help people with pain to understand pain better. However, providing pain education to the general community before pain becomes persistent, may help people to feel less anxious and more in control of pain experiences in the future. This in turn may help to prevent them from developing persistent pain. This study aims to help the public understand more about pain

This project is a joint initiative with investigators based in Australia and the UK

Lead researchers: Dr Niamh Maloney and Dr Martin Rabey. THRIVE Physiotherapy.

Decider Skills and Emotional Regulation in School Children

The Decider Skills Manual was originally developed in 2010 by Michelle Ayres and Carol Vivyan, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists in response to an identified service need in Guernsey. It has been used in patients with emotional regulation issues, and has been piloted and iterated in several local high schools and primary schools. The skills are delivered in an effective, creative and interactive style that makes them easy to learn and fun to teach. Demonstrations, videos, handbooks, props and pictures bring the skills to life and make them memorable. Once learnt The Decider Life Skills are transferable can be used throughout a child’s education, in the workplace and in social, home and health settings. This project is to test if “The Decider Life Skills” programme, comprising skills based on Dialectical- and Cognitive- Behavioural Therapy, and delivered in schools by trained teachers, can improve students’ ability to regulate their own emotions and mental health.

This project has the support of the HSC, Mental Health Department

Lead researchers: Dr Greg Lydall, Consultant Psychiatrist and Dr James Murray Clinical Psychologist

A qualitative study to explore the experience of being a relative of a patient within the local Intensive Care Unit.

This qualitative study aims to explore the experience of being a relative of an ICU patient, by undertaking semi-structured interviews with relatives following discharge from ICU. This is to gain an insight into the experiences of relatives, to determine their needs, identify interventions that may be beneficial and to highlight potential areas for service improvement. There is evidence supporting various interventions that can help relatives cope with an ICU admission, such as support groups, decision making tools, family involvement in care but the needs of relatives locally are not known. It is important to support relatives of ICU patients and help reduce their stress levels, as being a relative of an ICU patient can be a stressful and traumatic experience.The aim of this research proposal is to explore the experience of being a relative of a patient within the local ICU.

Lead researcher Sue Fallaize, Senior staff Nurse

An Exploration of the Wellbeing of Nurses Within The First Year of Registration.

The transition from student nurse to registered practising nurse has been recognised as stressful, leading to burnout and attrition. The aim of this study is to explore the impact on the wellbeing of newly qualified registered nurses within 6 months of taking up post. A mixed methods approach will be utilised to identify factors that impact on the wellbeing of these nurses. the aim pf the project is to explore the impact on the wellbeing of newly qualified registered nurses within 6 months of taking up post.

Lead researcher: Brenda Munro, Lecturer.